Did you know that it’s Negroni Week, seven days when you have the perfect excuse to indulge in this popular Italian aperitif? Once you’ve had your fill of the traditional version, try this riff, in which the traditional sweet vermouth has been swapped out in favor of Lillet. Bittersweet Peychaud’s and anise-scented tarragon round out the drink. The recipe makes enough simple syrup for many drinks, but it will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks. The leftovers can be used in almost any drink that calls for simple syrup to add both sweetness and a slightly savory note.
For the tarragon simple syrup:
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) water
- 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar
- 5 fresh tarragon sprigs
- 2 oz. (60 ml) gin
- 1 oz. (30 ml) Campari
- 1 oz. (30 ml) Lillet
- 1 oz. (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
- 1 fresh tarragon sprig
1. To make the simple syrup, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water to a simmer. Add the sugar and tarragon and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
2. To assemble a drink, in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the gin, Campari, Lillet, lemon juice, 1/4 oz. (7 ml) of the tarragon simple syrup and the Peychaud’s bitters. Cover, shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled rocks or coupe glass. Add ice if desired and garnish with the tarragon sprig. Serves 1.
For updates of our favorite classic cocktails infused with today’s fresh ingredients, check out our book Cocktails: Modern Favorites to Make at Home, by the cooks of the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen.